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Welfare rights

8 December, 2020

Government publishes proposed benefit and state pension rates for 2021/2022

Publication follows statement on uprating from Work and Pensions Secretary on 25 November 2020

8 December, 2020 Open access

DWP deducted almost £130 million from universal credit claims in August 2020

New figures also show that more than two-thirds of deductions were taken to repay advance payments

8 December, 2020 Open access

DWP confirms that all claimants who are to have their PIP award automatically extended due to COVID-19 will receive notice of the extension by ‘early 2021’

Work and Pensions Minister also tells parliament that 'early 2021' is the planned completion date for all extension activity

7 December, 2020

Government launches independent review of the Human Rights Act

Review will look at whether the UK's domestic courts are being unduly drawn into areas of policy, and consider whether there is 'room for improvement' in their relationship with the European Court of Human Rights

7 December, 2020 Open access

Welsh Government’s Self-Isolation Support Scheme to be extended to parents and carers of children required to self-isolate

Applications will open via local authority websites from 14 December 2020, with scope for backdating of payments to 23 October 2020

7 December, 2020 Open access

DWP commences paper-based assessments for industrial injuries disablement benefit claims

Minister says assessments should help reduce backlog of more than 5,000 claims, that is more than double the number of claims outstanding at the start of the coronavirus outbreak in March 2020

4 December, 2020 Open access

Returning benefits to pre-pandemic levels will push between one and three million people into poverty

In light of new analysis, Fabian Society says that 'it is now essential that ministers put the 2020 social security increases on a permanent footing'

4 December, 2020

Commencement of Directions that authorise electronic claims for bereavement support payment

Copy of Social Security (Electronic Communications) (Amendment) (No.3) Directions 2020 placed in House of Lords library confirms they came into force on 2 December 2020

4 December, 2020

DWP confirms it plans to extend availability of online National Insurance number applications to all applicants after current trial ends in January 2021

Minister says the rollout will commence once results from the trial have been verified to meet Government Digital Standards

4 December, 2020

Changes to Scotland’s council tax reduction scheme in relation to the disregarding of specified benefits

New statutory instrument

4 December, 2020

Revaluation of pension sharing ‘debits and credits’ and ‘protected payments’ in new state pension in Northern Ireland

New statutory rules

4 December, 2020

Scottish Government confirms that it will use findings from evaluation of carer’s allowance supplement in developing its replacement for carer’s allowance

Key findings include carers' view that current carer's allowance rules inhibit taking more than small amount of part-time work, and preference for continuing to receive supplement in twice yearly lump sum

3 December, 2020 Open access

Two-child limit has been a ‘significant factor’ in women’s decision to end a pregnancy during the COVID-19 pandemic

New study from BPAS finds that financial factors played a role in most decisions, with 57 per cent of women who were aware of and likely to be affected by the two-child limit saying it impacted their choice

3 December, 2020

Revaluation of ‘protected payments’ and pension sharing ‘debits and credits’ in the new state pension

New statutory instruments

3 December, 2020 Open access

Extending the £20 universal credit uplift to legacy benefit claimants is the ‘right thing to do’, JRF says

New briefing highlights that disability benefit claimants, the majority of whom claim legacy benefits, are facing extra costs and greater risks to employment income in the pandemic but have been 'cut adrift' without extra support

2 December, 2020

Ensuring that current position is maintained after Brexit in relation to access to benefits and housing for family members of EEA Citizens granted limited leave to enter UK under EUSS family permit

New statutory instrument

1 December, 2020

Ministry of Justice consults on limiting extent to which unsuccessful litigants can apply for permission to appeal from Upper Tribunal to Court of Appeal

Consultation sets out proposals designed to 'improve the efficiency of the unified tribunal system'

1 December, 2020 Open access

Government says it is right to freeze local housing allowances as rents are ‘potentially going down’

Work and Pensions Secretary says that decision means people have 'certainty' in the amount of cash they have

1 December, 2020

DWP confirms that more than a quarter of a million DLA claimants are still to be reassessed for PIP

Minister also tells parliament that, while some activity on PIP reassessments was resumed in July 2020, new claims and changes of circumstances cases 'remain our priority'